Role of Natural Selection and Chance in the Survival of Emperor Penguins

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Natural Selection and Chance in the Survival of Emperor Penguins Emperor penguins are majestic creatures; their life cycle portrayed in the film "March of the Penguins" shows a lifecycle fraught with dangers, including exposure to extreme environmental conditions and aggressive predators. Despite the challenges, the breed has survived. It may be argued that survival is the result of natural selection and the adaptations which have developed, but it is also argued luck plays a role. Natural selection occurs when genotypic characteristics which provide better adaption to the environment, increasing survival chances, reproduce and become increasing frequent within a population, perpetuating the beneficial characteristics (Beatty, 1984). Chance is luck, or simply being at the right, (or the wrong), place at the right, (or the wrong), time. Both appear to influence the life of the penguins. March of the Penguins starts with the journey to their mating ground across the ice in Antarctica, starting with a walk of 70 miles. Natural selection starts at this point; many penguins die during the journey across the ice; only those who survive the journey reproduce. Penguins are not unique, returning through dangers to specific mating grounds. Other examples include salmon and eels, showing a general pattern of natural selection. During mating, penguins choose a single mate each season. Why mates are chosen is unknown, but as females fight over the males, there may be preferred

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